News & Commentary

ICJ to hold 6 days of public hearings on Israel’s ‘ongoing violation’ of Palestinians’ right to self-determination

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), also known as the World Court, announced on Friday that it will hold six days of public hearings on the UN General Assembly’s request for an advisory opinion on the “legal consequences” of Israel’s “policies and practices” in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

The hearings begin on Monday, February 19—ten days from now—at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

52 States “have expressed their intention to participate,” along with three organizations: the League of Arab States, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and the African Union.

The first day will see three hours of oral arguments from the State of Palestine.

South Africa will lead off the second day, followed by Algeria (30 min each).

This case is separate from—but obviously now related to—South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the ICJ, and began almost exactly a year earlier.

Abridged Timeline

Dec 30, 2022: UNGA adopts a resolution requesting an advisory opinion from the ICJ on “the legal consequences arising from the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination…”‘

Jan 17, 2023: UN Secretary-General transmits the request to the Court

Jan 19, 2023: Registrar gives notice of the request to “all States entitled to appear before the Court”

Feb 3, 2023: The Court sets time-limits for the submission of statements and comments

July 25, 2023: Deadline for States and organizations to present written statements (57 were filed)

Oct 25, 2023: Deadline to “submit written comments on the written statements made by other States or organizations”

Feb 9, 2024: ICJ announces that it will hold 6 days of public hearings

Feb 19, 2024: Public hearings scheduled to begin

“Pursuant to Article 106 of the Rules of Court, the Court may decide to make the written statements accessible to the public on or after the opening of the oral proceedings,” says the ICJ.

The timeline above is based on today’s press release (p. 4-5). Previous press releases from this case can be viewed on the ICJ’s website.

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